Bottle Notes, Syrah

2008 Cayuse Syrah Armada Vineyard – Bottle Notes

The 2008 Cayuse Syrah Armada Vineyard was the winning bottle in the December Installment of Pick My Next Bottle. The wine was decanted for one hour.

Cayuse was founded in 1997 by Christophe Baron, a native of France who grew up in family of winemakers in Champagne. Baron studied viticulture in Burgundy and Champagne, and had ambitions to make Pinot Noir in Oregon. However, on a visit to Walla Walla he found property that he believed would be perfect for growing grapes and decided to purchase the land.

At 1815 vines per acre, the 7-acre Armada Vineyard, created in 2001, was the highest density planting in the Walla Walla Valley until 2008. Other wines from the vineyard include the God Only Knows Grenache and Edith Grenache Rosé.

Crimson in color. 14.2% ABV. Unmistakable Cayuse nose of red fruits, iodine and tea. Smooth, warm and silky with perfect acidity. Stunning and pure. Cherries, game, olive brine and minerals on the palate. The finish is breathtaking. Spectacular Syrah that will drink well for at least another 5-7 years.

My rating: 96 points.

The waiting list for the Cayuse mailing list is huge and you need to be well-connected to get a bottle via retail. Either way, current vintages are worth the hunt!

I wrote about Cayuse recently in The Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings and Winery Mailing Lists: The Fab 5.

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